For Mădălin an international study exchange with Erasmus+ meant making a positive difference to other students' lives, and gaining new skills and friends along the way.
Having moved from Romania to study International Business at Loughborough University, Mădălin already knew the benefits international education could offer. He jumped at the opportunity to study abroad as part of his degree - spending five months in Angers, France, at the ESSCA School of Management.
Travelling and making friends
I chose to study abroad for a few months as part of my degree because I wanted to develop cultural awareness, to meet new people, to live and study in a different environment and gain first-hand knowledge of a country I loved. I also wanted to find out more about myself and I was keen to improve my French language skills.
As I didn't yet know where I wanted to settle, I thought it made sense to experience as many places as possible to help me decide. It was also an additional opportunity to see how people in another country and culture think, and how I can make a difference.
I was able to travel around Europe, which taught me how to understand and appreciate many different societies, contexts and values. Going abroad again also helped me learn how to adapt to yet another new environment.
I’ve made new friends from all over the world, which has helped me improve my French as well as have a go at new languages. Playing football on the university team has made me become more socially competent, outgoing and positive.
I studied business modules, such as financial management, marketing and intercultural dynamics, where I had to present my work every day, which really helped my public-speaking and presentation skills.
Class sizes were smaller than at home, which helped to build relationships more easily, and lessons tended to focus more on the practical angle, which was an interesting difference to my classes in Loughborough.
Getting to know the culture and the different methods of business from the inside is priceless. You need to be in the heart of things to gain a real understanding of it.
I also met plenty of different people from diverse backgrounds for the first time - from South Korea, Kazakhstan and Chile to name just a few!
Making a difference
As a student representative I was able to make a positive difference, such as suggesting improvements and influencing changes to the curriculum of some of the university courses. My success in and outside of college came about through assuming such responsibilities, actively listening to my peers and helping others to succeed.
It was a very positive environment to be in and the whole experience really surpassed my expectations, gaining interpersonal skills as well as skills that will help me in my degree back home and hopefully my career.
My language skills have also really improved, not only in French but, with the help of my friends, I can also get by in Taiwanese, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, Austrian, Italian and even Korean!
Springboard for future success
There are so many benefits to taking part in Erasmus+. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to meet a range of special and talented people.
This time abroad was one of the most important developments in both my career and personal life so far.
The Erasmus+ funding allowed me financial independence and it was one of the main reasons I was able undertake a period of studies in France. It has also given me a hunger for knowledge and self-development and reinforced my career focus and aspirations.
Youth Story by Mădălin Foghiș, Erasmus+ higher education exchange participant
Has Mădălin’s story convinced you of the many benefits of studying abroad? Have a look at our Study abroad page and find out more!